There are some plants that have really insignificant, sometimes almost indiscernible, flowers but come in to their own when autumn arrives and their fruits emerge. Holly is one that comes to mind but the spindle (Euonymus europaeus) is undoubtedly another.
A hedgerow shrub occurring mainly on chalk and lime rich soils.
Spindle: spinning a yarnPost date: Monday, 7 November, 2016 - 21:26Spindle is not an uncommon shrub, probably overlooked for much of the year. In summer it has tiny little creamy green four petalled flowers just a few millimetres across. In the autumn they produce brilliant coral pink seed cases that could almost be flowers in their own right. The pink seed cases then split to reveal a bright orange fruit inside. Quite unique amongst our wild flora and easy to pick out.Spindle occurs mainly on our chalk downland and lime rich soils. It has thin twiggy branches, hence our use of the word 'spindly' for anything thin. The wood, however, is white in colour and hard and smooth in texture which led to it being used for traditional spindles that were used in spinning wool and cotton. It was also the primary plant for producing artist's charcoal.Altogether an interesting plant that is popular with insets too.
|Scientific Name||Euonymus europaeus|
|Species Group||Hedgerow Shrubs|
|Family||Spindle family - Celastraceae|
|Flower Colour Group||White|
|Look for||The flowers of the spindle are small and often overlooked but the seeds in autumn are a lovely pink colour|
|Additional Identification Notes|